7th February 2017, London, United Kingdom – The Burma Human Rights Network has collected accounts from locals in Northern Rakhine State regarding recent events in Buthidaung, a majority Muslim Rohingya township in close proximity to Maungdaw -- where human rights violations were reported regularly since October of 2016. According to Rohingya sources in Northern Rakhine State, Burmese Security Forces began raids early in the morning on January 4th, which Burmese state and independent media have also confirmed. The BHRN has since heard reports of sweeping arbitrary arrests, beatings and torture of Rohingya who were detained and the reported abduction of Rohingya women by Burmese security forces. Worryingly there are unconfirmed reports that the Security forces overtly requested women from different households to be kept as “sex slaves”. The presence of security forces has remained in place up until today with reports emerging of continued raids on Rohingya villages involving extortion and detention of Rohingya villagers.
21st January 2017: London, The United Kingdom
The Burma Human Rights Network welcomes efforts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Government of Malaysia and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who are holding an emergency meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers to address the dire situation within Burma’s Northern Rakhine State. We have taken great hope from the efforts the Prime Minister has made over the past few months and wish to convey our belief that his efforts, along with those of other ASEAN nations, have truly helped reduce the suffering of the Rohingya as pressure seems to have slowed the indiscriminate attacks of the Burmese Security Forces against the Rohingya population in Burma’s Northern Rakhine State.
The situation in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine State has rapidly deteriorated since October. A violent and disproportionate crackdown has been unleashed on the civilian population in response to attacks on three Border Guard Police posts on October 9th and a few small skirmishes in the months that followed. Since the attacks on the police posts our organization has collected evidence of what we believe should be investigated as Crimes Against Humanity, as defined by the United Nations, carried out by Burmese Security Forces. These crimes, according to witnesses, have included rape, gang rape, sexual humiliation, murder, extra-judicial assassination, destruction of civilian property, forced displacement, torture, killing of suspects in custody and the intentional destruction of civilian food and livestock. It is clearly long past time for the world to act.
• Reports continue to implicate security forces in widespread destruction of Rohingya homes, rape and sexual humiliation, torture and indiscriminate killing of civilians.
• Witnesses claim that recent fighting between militants and security forces was limited to a short period of time and the majority of events reported by the Government as skirmishes were security forces attacking civilian population indiscriminately
• Recent events have displaced at least 30,000 people and created dire need for food and aid for at least 70,000 people in Maungdaw. 15,000 people were believed to have been displaced on November 12th and 13th alone.
• If witness accounts of abuses by security forces are proven true they qualify as Crimes Against Humanity in violation of Rome Statute Article 7(1), The Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Article 3, and The Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), Article 5.
• Burmese government must immediately allow an international independent body to investigate and allow international and local media to access the crisis area
• Burmese government must allow international aid agencies to access to the crisis areas and allow them to deliver food and aid to vulnerable people and affected people
• International community must immediately consider effective measure to protect the Rohingya civilians in Northern Rakhine State